Friday, May 24, 2024

Maywood Fine Arts Overview

Mission: Maywood Fine Arts provides affordable quality arts and fitness education for children and families in Maywood and surrounding communities to enrich and transform their lives.

Vision: Every child has the opportunity to grow and thrive through the arts.

Our Story: We are passionate about the transformational power of the creative experience and its ability to expand a child’s worldview, to give them agency as well as the ability to express themselves with confidence and joy. MFA has struck a unique balance between artistic excellence in the education and experiences we offer with a welcoming acceptance to all who want to join. We are dedicated to serving our community through this lens.

Through grassroots efforts, we transformed a boarded-up bank building in downtown Maywood into a vibrant place where fine arts activity could flourish. After nearly three decades, MFA continues to improve its surroundings with a state-of-the-art Dance and Fitness Studio as well as a historic Fine Arts building that provide safe, welcoming spaces for children and bring pride of place to Maywood.

Programs and Activities: MFA is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization overseen by a voluntary Board of Directors serving nearly 4,000 children each year from ages 4-18 years, with 850 enrolled, non-duplicated students participating in our year-round, out-of-school programming; and 3,000 children participating in our school-based outreach activities.

Specific offerings include:

  • Group classes in dance, visual arts, drama, tumbling and karate
  • Individual lessons in piano, voice, guitar and drums
  • Community-wide programming such as a 5-week Summer Dance Intensive, an annual, family-oriented parade, and monthly free open gym classes
  • Outreach Efforts (e.g., the Get off the Streets and On Your Feet youth employment/leadership program, the Classical Ballet for New Audiences program, and the Fit & Fun fitness program)

Demographics: MFA serves children and families from western Cook Country communities, including Maywood, Bellwood, Melrose Park, and Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. Most of our students come from low-income, under-served, working-class areas where families experience high rates of unemployment and inflation. To counter these stressors, MFA offers a year-round place where children can explore the arts and fitness programs that the schools and the village cannot provide. MFA’s students are 60% African American, 27% Latino, 8% Multi Race, and 5% Caucasian.

Goals: MFA’s primary goal is to keep its rates affordable so that “no child is turned away”. Therefore, tuition is 100% subsidized and scholarships are provided to 46% of enrolled students. MFA is committed to providing opportunities where few exist for its students.